December 2, 2014
“These online prison chat rooms depress me,” a client told me last month. “Anyone can join and the information on there is garbage. Can you fix it?”
Last week, I created a private members page for my clients, their family members and supporters. My first post read:
“Well the first official post! Let me begin by thanking everyone for accepting my invitation. Before my surrender to prison I spent a lot of time on line researching and trying to prepare. It was not until I went to prison that I realized that much of what I read was just flat wrong. It was not just me who believed it, but so did my mom, family, etc. The goal of this page is to try to change that by sharing thoughts, experiences and honest advice. We can all learn from one another. I truly feel those trapped in the system are my brothers and sisters. Some of you are about to surrender to prison, others are about to endure your first thanksgiving without your loved one, and others, like me, have completed the journey. Regardless of what stage we are in, support from others makes the process easier, more bearable, and dare I say even enjoyable at times. Please feel free to begin posting any questions about your experience or thoughts that could benefit other members. Also, please feel free to invite family, friends and supporters to the group. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your loved ones. Justin”
This Federal Prison Advice Facebook page will benefit my clients. Moreover, it will help their family members. Even though authorities only lock up one person, the prisoners’ family endures the entire sentence. For that reason I believe defendants should educate their family about the struggles ahead, and the resources that exist to help them. By ensuring that spouses, children and parents understand the complexities of confinement, that individual makes measurable progress toward easing stress that could further complicate his life.
Besides helping immediate family, this page will also educate extended family, friends, and colleagues about the challenges and steps one can take to overcome confinement. Choosing appropriate strategies, such as keeping your network engaged during your term, goes a long way towards easing the transition back home after the prison term ends and probation begins. This page will help educate and engage them.
I look forward to investing more energy and time into growing this private members page. Should you have interest in joining, please reach out to me.